Five Last Acts, possibly the most comprehensive and well-researched guide on methods of self-deliverance or rational euthanasia, needs a new publishing home.
Such books should not be necessary, but in the continued absence of responsible legislation for options in dying, EXIT has specialised in self-deliverance information since 1980. Those whose suffering is unbearable and unrelievable cannot wait for the politicians to act. It is no comfort to them that palliative care works for most people but not in their individual case.
But although EXIT’s self-deliverance publications are snapped up eagerly all over the world, the Society does not have the manpower or resources to satisfy the needs of so many people. People simply want this manual for the comfort and reassurance it can offer when facing an unknown future. Knowledge that, if things ever did get too bad, they can still retain power over their own time of dying. That they can still be in control. With the keys to the door marked ‘exit,’ if you like. EXIT estimates that the first print run could only ensure a fraction of the people seeking benefit from this book could actually lay their hands on a copy.
But what are the options?
Although self-deliverance information is freely available in bookshops and over the Internet, EXIT has placed considerable store on ensuring it does not fall into the wrong hands. Proof of age was required with purchases. No special checks were made on people – we cannot ‘play God’ and screen people – but the right to refuse an application was also reserved in case alarm bells went off.
We might have to re-trench on that. We cannot ask any publisher/distributor to make such demands on people wishing to buy a book. Purchase by credit card offers some reassurance. Although minors can have credit cards, they have to be attached to an adult’s account. And it still doesn’t cover the end of the ‘teenage years’ – that time from 18 to 21 when a number of impulsive suicides occur. The very thing we would wish to discourage.
But the unavailability of reliable information also results in suicide by other means – or horrible dice-games with over-the-counter drugs like paracetamol and other ways of meeting a gruesome, painful end. (And if they took paracetamol off the market, people would find other ways, or throw themselves off bridges.)
It keeps coming down to least worst options. Exit needs to make Five Last Acts more widely available to people who desire and need it. Profit is not a motive. But the continuity of information from a Society that is hard-pressed for resources is a concern. So unless a suitable publisher can be found, it may still find its way to Amazon or even as an e-book or print-on-demand.
Suggestions, private or on this blog, are sought and welcomed.
nb: Orders be may be temporarily delayed. The new updated (2010) edition, available soon, will be shipped automatically on all new orders.